Police & Fire

West Orange Residents Arrested in Somerset County Drug Bust

Scott Carson of West Orange. Credits: SCPO

WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Somerset County Prosecutor's Office announced the arrest on Feb. 21 of fourteen individuals, including several West Orange residents, resulting from a seven month investigation into narcotics sales in New Jersey and Philadelphia. In addition to the arrests, police seized $7,500 in heroin and $9,112 in MDMA, aka "Molly." MDMA is the primary ingredient in Ectasy. The announcement came from Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano.

The Somerset County Prosecutor's Office issued a press release advising that Scott Carson, 29, of West Orange, along with three other individuals, Jakai Jones, 30, of Keyport; Andrea Lunetta, 26, of Sayreville; and Semih Demir, 24, of Berkeley Heights, were allegedly part of a distribution network that are accused of selling MDMA and/or heroin to individuals in Somerset, Middlesex, Union, Monmouth and Essex counties as well as Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. 

The investigation, dubbed "Operation Raw Deal," began in August, 2013, when detectives in the Somerset County Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force learned that Jones was selling Molly (MDMA) in Somerset County. Undercover detectives purchased drugs from Jones on numerous occasions in Franklin Township. Through those interactions detectives learned that Lunetta was supplying Jones, and Carson was supplying Lunetta.

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On Feb. 20, search warrants were executed at the residences and for the vehicles of Carson, Lunetta, Jones and Demir.  When police searched Carson's home on Park Drive South, police and agents found approximately one ounce of heroin; 40 vials of cocaine; a 9mm handgun; a .40-caliber handgun; a .22-caliber assault rifle; and various drug paraphernalia, at Carson's residence.  His children were also present in the home.

Carson was charged with several serious offenses, including: maintaining a CDS (Heroin) production facility, 1st degree; unlawful possession of an assault rifle 2nd degree; endangering the welfare of a child, 2nd degree; flight, 4th degree, conspiracy to distribute CDS (Heroin), 2nd  degree; possession of a firearm while committing a drug offense, 2nd degree (3 counts); conspiracy to distribute CDS, 3rd  degree; possession with intent to distribute CDS (cocaine) 3rd degree; possession of CDS paraphernalia; disorderly persons.

Andrea Lunetta (Sayreville) was charged with conspiracy to distribute CDS (MDMC and Heroin), 3rd degree; conspiracy to distribute CDS (MDMC), 2nd degree; distribution of CDS (MDMC) 2nd degree; and endangering the welfare of a child, 2nd degree.

Jakai Jones (Cliffwood Beach) was charged with distribution of a CDS (MDMC), 2nd degree; conspiracy to distribute CDS, 3rd degree; conspiracy to distribute MDMC, 2nd degree.

Semih Demir (Berkeley Heights) was charged with maintaining a CDS production facility (MDMC), 1st degree; distribution of a CDS (MDMC), 3rd degree; distribution of CDS marijuana, 3rd degree; and conspiracy to distribute CDS, 3rd degree. His role was not made clear in the Somerset County press release.

Samantha Simonson, 18, of Keansburg, and Antonio Rivera, 28, of Perth Amboy, were also charged for their roles in narcotics sales arrangements.

Five other West Orange residents were arrested and charged for the purchase of heroin and other narcotics during the investigation: Elijah Duplessis, 23, of Lowell Avenue; Romeo Vergara, 26, Deerfield Drive; Helena Freeman, 37, Chestnut Street; Chris Gamba, 23, of Swayze Street; and Jessie Casanovas, 30, of Washington Street.

Daniel Amadio, 39, of Keyport; Christen Reinglas, 23, of Aberdeen; and Zachary Robbins, 27, of Summit were also charged.

In a phone conversation with the West Orange Alternative Press, detectives from the West Orange Police Special Investigations Unit confirmed that they had been involved with the DEA and Somerset County Prosecutor's Office during the seven month "Operation Raw Deal," assisting in surveillance, covert operations, and even the arrests of Carson and the other West Orange residents involved. 



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